« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictured
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Hence all obedience bows to these alone, And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; Tilltime may come,when, stripp'd of all her charms, TH land of scholars and the nurse of arms, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Where kings have toild and poets wrote for fame, One sink of level avarice shall lie, And scholars, soldiers, kings unhonour'd die.
Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great: Ye
powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, Far from
bosom drive the low desire !
And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
Oh, then how blind to all that truth requires,
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour When first ambition struck at regal power; And thus, polluting honour in its source, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore?
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
E’en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Through tangled forests and through dangerous
ways; Where beasts with man divided empire claim, And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim; There, while above the giddy tempest flies, And all around distressful yells arise, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, Casts a long look where England's glories shine, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.
Vain, very vain my weary search to find That bliss which only centres in the mind. Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose, To seek a good each government bestows? In every government, though terrors reign, Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain, How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure !
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
In the Respublica Hungarica, there is an account of a desperate rebellion in the year 1514, headed by two brothers, George and Lake Zeck. When it was quelled, George, not Luke, was panished by his head being encircled with a redhot iron crown. Boswell pointed out Goldsmith's mistake.
FIRST PRINTED IN 1769.
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
DEAR SIR, I can have no expectations in an address of this kind, either to add to your reputation, or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel; and I
lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in poetry
you. Setting interest therefore aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this
you. How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to inquire : but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the opinion) that the depopulation it deplores is nowhere to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarce make any other answer, than that I sincerely